Voter happiness with masks, vaccines and lockdowns may determine outcome of early election

Canadians began voting Monday in a pandemic election that that threatens to knock Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from power, The Associated Press reports.

Trudeau gambled on an early election in a bid to win a majority of seats in Parliament. But the opposition has been relentless in accusing Trudeau of calling an unnecessary early vote during the pandemic — two years before the deadline — for his own personal ambition

Polls indicate Trudeau’s Liberal Party is in a tight race with the rival Conservatives: It will likely win the most seats in Parliament, but still fail to get a majority, forcing it to rely on an opposition party to pass legislation.

“Trudeau made an incredibly stupid error in judgement,” said Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto.

Trudeau is betting that Canadians will reward him for navigating the coronavirus crisis better than most countries did. Canada is now one of the most vaccinated nations in the world and Trudeau’s government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid lockdowns.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole didn’t require his party’s candidates to be vaccinated and won’t say how many are unvaccinated. O’Toole describes vaccination as a personal health decision, but a growing number of vaccinated Canadians are becoming increasingly upset with those who refuse to get vaccinated.

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